I visited the Tristan Bates Theatre near Covent Garden to see a production of Black Snow. I love the novel, by Soviet-era writer Mikhail Bulgakov, and as it is about the world of the theatre I was keen to see this adaptation, written by Keith Dewhurst and directed by Michael Fry.
The plot concerns a down-on-his-luck writer, Sergei Maksudov, who when his novel is rejected tries to hang himself. He fails in this endeavour and decides instead to turn his book into a play, only to come into conflict with various personalities involved in the theatre. Based in part on Bulgakov’s own experiences working in the theatre in Moscow, it is surreal, satirical and very funny.
This production was performed by final year BA students of the East 15 Acting School at the University of Essex. As such I was not expecting a professional production, but I was pleasantly surprised at the high standard of acting on display. In particular I would single out Matthew Staite, whose performance as Maksudov was very strong. A really enjoyable experience.